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LED headlights - any good?


RichardN

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Hi all,

The headlights on my '88 Esprit Turbo are getting very rough as I had water leaking into them. Still useable but it's only a matter of time and straight replacements are not available any more (unless you know different?). Has anyone fitted the replacement LED headlight kit from PNM?

If you have what are your thoughts, good, bad or indifferent? They are about £360 so that's a lot of money compared to standard lighting.

Richard

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I hope so as I have some on order!

It was discussed in an earlier thread.

I have the same problem, the silvering is going/gone on all 4. Replacements for the standard lights are available from SJ but they cost considerably more than the LEDs from PNM.

It looks like standard and cheap universal 5.75 outers could be swapped for the cibie outers. The inners seem to be far more of a problem.

I decided to try the LED's and then look at other solutions later if I ever want to return it to standard.

Hopefully the LED's will be with me by Christmas as PNM are waiting on stock.

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Ebay over here has plenty of inexpensive H1  5-3/4" bulbs for the main/high beam.  The H4 with the offset dip beams are probably harder to find given your right hand drive.  100 watt H1's give a fair bit of light! Your MOT may vary.....

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l1313&_nkw=h1+headlights+%2B(5-3%2F4"%2C5.75"%2C5.75%2C5-3%2F4)&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=h4+headlights+%2B(5-3%2F4"%2C5.75"%2C5.75%2C5-3%2F4)

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Unfortunately for us on this side of the pond, while the US cars were fitted with standard fitting 5.75" lights and mountings, UK cars were fitted with unique 5.75" outer and 6" inner lights which have unique mountings that don't take standard 5.75" lamps so not straightforward.

Edited by NG5
inner and outer sizes mixed up
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I have the PNM LED headlights fitted and they are ('scuse the pun) night and day better than the original halogen lights. While the 4 LED pattern may not be to everyone's taste the improvement in performance is well worth it....

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  • Gold FFM

It's a shame PNM no longer offer the standard halogen lights with stainless fittings, that was a nice piece of kit and the combination of new mirrors and a good bulb (I use Osram Nightbreakers, you can also fit LED H4/H1) gives very good output.

Filip

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got that kit when they made it, and initially used a set of now Oscam Nightbreakers. Then I met a Philips car part dealer at the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix two years ago, and he sold me a set of Philips X-tremevision, which I tried. Dang! Even more light. Standard wattage of course. Pretty good light, I'd say!

My own experience with led headlight is none. But a friend bought an LED headlight for his Laverda 1200TTS, and passed by a late dark evening. Oh my goodness! It's extreme. Where he used to have a yellowish narrow short beam of not very good light, he now runs a lightbath in front of him, making night driving far far more safe. An enormous difference. While I personally think they are likewise extremely ugly in appearance, they are probably one of the best things one can do for the Esprit. I may jump on the bandwagon as well and save my perfect new set of Cibie for the future use, if ever.

And LED headlights are also now roadlegal in Denmark btw.

Kind regards,

Jacques

Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Well I've decided to bite the bullet and have bought a set from PNM. They are sitting in my kitchen waiting for Xmas as I have to have something exciting to open on the day! Socks and aftershave don't really do it for me. Sad life isn't it?

I'll be fitting them soon after that and will report back when I've had a chance to try them.

Richard

 

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10 hours ago, Jacques said:

While I personally think they are likewise extremely ugly in appearance, they are probably one of the best things one can do for the Esprit.

You do realize those will make the Esprit look like a German chaos car when the lights are on, right? :devil:

I'm still debating wether to replace the Nightbreakers with LED H4/H1s.

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Ha ha! Yes, that's the most unfortunate and most worrying aspect of it. And we surely wouldn't want that would we?

What to do? Either don't drive home in the night... Or get up early in the morning, before there's too much traffic on the roads, and take a good long detour through the best kept secret back roads. Hmmm... I think I've got it. I just don't use the Esprit through the most dark and short Winter days. I'll take those long Summer evenings any day - good light till' half past 10 in the evening. That should do it.

Hmmm... I wonder if one could make a set which actually looks like a headlight, not a zombie from outer space. Actually one can, as the headlight I mentioned in the above for the Laverda, does look a bit more like a propper headlight.

Cheers,

Jacques

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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There are LED bulb replacements sold for fitment in traditional H1 and H4 lamps, and reports on their effectiveness have been encouraging. I have adapted Philips Xtreme LED' into the rear and front lamps other than headlamp because they are much brighter with more bold colour, together increasing the lighting impact.

Cheers

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  • 3 months later...
  • 11 months later...

Hello,

I was in Rétromobile last week-end (Vintage car show in Paris), and found that stand selling plug and play LED Lights.

"la paire" means "both"

I don't know wich one to choose from this.

Furthermore, I have first to fix the black plastic in the headlight. It is not fixed properly because of the kind of plastic screws which are becoming too old. Don't know how to fix that....20220329_115243.thumb.jpg.65b997bb95847af57cb90f44e10771e7.jpg

Edited by Yo1
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14 minutes ago, Yo1 said:

Furthermore, I have first to fix the black plastic in the headlight. It is not fixed properly because of the kind of plastic screws which are becoming too old. Don't know how to fix that....

A picture would help :thumbup:

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Be most careful in choosing LED bulbs of any sort, most are garbage. The Philips brand are generally the only ones built to adequate standard, they now have replacement headlamp bulbs which are very good but those will not fit Esprit due to to space limitations. The pods on our cars do not accommodate bulbs with base extensions typical of good headlamp LED's. For Esprit conversion to LED headlamps the way to go are fully integrated ( no replaceable bulb ) LED units, such as those posted above by members.

Cheers 

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If the company knows the products they sell, they should be able to advise you which is best for your application.

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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I have fitted mine with LED bulbs with remote heat sinks which fit nicely in the original light units with the heat sink at the rear of the pod - plug and play as they say - so much better and a warm white colour as I prefer this to the modern electric blue ones. I got my from classic car LEDS - I have had no failures with any of their bulbs for two years now. 

Sorry I mean, the heatsink is on the back of the bulb (fits neatly) and the transformer is at the back of the pod. 

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Thanks, @skiing, I had the latest Philips units brought around by a local lighting guru for a test fit, hence my remarks on fit. Are the Classic Car bulbs an improvement in terms of light output?

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They must be twice the power if not three times - significantly better - I have all four on main and dipped beam as my car is an early 1981 so it had all four from the factory. I also use on my Lancia Delta and they are much better than stock. They are also much lower current draw which is helpful so I don't run out of electricity in the winter!

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I also use the H4 LEDs from Classic Car LEDs (though not yet in the Esprit). They certainly are a big upgrade, even over high end halogen bulbs like the Nightbreakers, and give good cut-off. Good service as well, so I intend to fit them to more of my cars.

Their other replacement bulbs are good as well, I've been running some as sidelights in the Esprit to make the car more visible without having to turn on dipped beam.

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I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Just seen this on the autobulbs direct website for what it's worth.

https://www.autobulbsdirect.co.uk/blog/are-led-headlights-legal-in-the-uk/

Brexit 2021 Update
Please note that since January 2021, the MOT Inspection manual has been updated to include LED bulbs.

Section 4.1.4 now states the following:

“Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with high intensity discharge (HID) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. If such a conversion has been done, you must fail the headlamp.”

This is a brand new update that seems to only focus on headlights.

There are no mentions to fail other LED bulbs such as brake lights, tail lights or reversing lights.

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